Joel Osteen Opens Megachurch To Flood Victims Amid Social Media Backlash

Joel Osteen Opens Megachurch To Flood Victims Amid Social Media Backlash

Joel Osteen is Under Fire For Not Opening Up His Megachurch for Harvey

Source: Instagram

UPDATE: Joel Osteen has now opened his Lakewood Church to anyone seeking shelter in Houston after facing backlash for not having the church open in the first place. The pastor initially stated that Lakewood was inaccessible but a group of people have since proven that that is not the case.

Read the original story below.

Joel Osteen, one of the most famous and wealthiest pastors in the world, is under fire for closing his megachurch to those in need during Hurricane Harvey.

The controversy started on Sunday when Joel Osteen‘s place of worship, Lakewood Church, posted an update on Facebook saying that it was “inaccessible” because of the havoc that Hurricane Harvey has caused:

READ: Hurricane Harvey Displaces 30,000 In Texas

The responses to this post were negative, with many mentioning the fact that smaller churches in the Houston area were staying open and helping people. What didn’t help matters is the fact that a local furniture place in the neighborhood, called Gallery Furniture, opened its doors while Lakewood Church kept its closed:

READ: Airbnb Is Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims To Find Shelter

As the noise around the church grew louder, supporters of Lakewood responded. A Houston blogger named Lynne Gabriel tweeted out pics proving that the church was flooded:

However, locals in the community countered with their own evidence:

After hours of criticism, Lakewood’s response was to try and gather more donations for those in need:

This, as you can imagine, went poorly. It was after this occurred that the church started to prepare to let the displaced stay in the church :

Olsteen, who has a net worth north of $40 million, finally responded to the controversy, saying:

“We have never closed our doors…We will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm.”

Lakewood Church has a weekly attendance of 52,000 people.

Source: USA Today 

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